By Shereen Siewert

The Wisconsin Elections Commission deactivated 205,000 voter registrations including 3,619 in Marathon County through two voter list maintenance processes, the agency announced today.

“The first group of more than 174,000 voters we deactivated have not voted in the past four years and did not respond to a mailing,” said Meagan Wolfe, administrator of the Wisconsin Elections Commission.  “This deactivation process is required under Wisconsin State statute.  Many of the deactivated voters have moved and can re-register at their new address.  Some of the voters had died and a few others asked to have their registrations canceled.”

A second, separate group of more than 31,000 voters from the 2019 ERIC Movers List mailing were also deactivated on July 31, Wolfe said.

“The Wisconsin Elections Commission and its staff take voter list maintenance very seriously,” Wolfe said.  “The WEC is working every day to help local election officials keep the registration lists current by identifying and removing deceased voters, people serving felony sentences, and others who are ineligible to vote.”

In Marathon County, the WEC sent out 4,006 mailings to registered voters. Of those, 381 requested continuation. Another 18 were deceased, but the majority of recipients did not respond to the mailings, according to agency figures released on Wednesday. In Wausau, 1,218 voter registrations were deactivated.

In Lincoln County, 655 voter registrations were deactivated, with another 1,880 in Portage County.

The Commission is required by law every two years to conduct voter record maintenance to identify individuals who have not voted in the previous four years and to deactivate them unless they wish to remain registered. 

“The process is designed to ensure the integrity of the active voter list,” Wolfe said.  “It is not designed to keep any active voter’s name off the poll list.”

In June, the commission identified 186,982 registered voters who had not voted since the November 2016 presidential election. The commission mailed “Notice of Suspension” postcards to these voters, asking them whether they wanted to remain active on the state’s voter list. To remain active, voters had 30 days to mail a return postcard to their municipal clerk, which 12,121 voters did.  Voters who did not respond or whose postcard was returned as undeliverable by the Post Office were deactivated on July 31, as required by state law.